Friday, 27 April 2012

Some more pictures...

Sprouting Up! April 23-27th

The Preschool groups have been dedicated gardeners during these past weeks planting seeds, and ensuring that they have enough sunlight, water, and aerated soil.  We have been planting various seeds and bulbs and observing how they each grow in different sizes and at different paces. 
The Toddlers have planted many flowers as well as a whole lawn of grass!  They are waiting patiently for the seeds to sprout one by one!
The Preschool 2 group have been experimenting with plant growth in flower pots as well as in mini greenhouses!  The group has been creating a graph to identify how quickly certain seeds sprout and are enjoying measuring the height of the plants on a daily basis!
The preschool 1 group have planted pumpkin seeds, shallot bulbs and a variety of other flower and sprout seeds.  Children are observing that the germination time for each is different!  Why is that?
All the groups continue to discuss their observations they made last week during their walking field trip to the plant exhibition.
Some of the literature explored this week included: Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert, The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss, On Meadowview Street and I Took A Walk by Henry Cole, and the website   Enjoy!
To finish off the week, the Friday morning assembly was an exciting and nail biting experience as all children and teachers waited patiently to find out which school ‘’house’’ , or castle!, they will represent (Turaida, Rundāle, or Bauska)!
We wish you an enjoyable Spring Break!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Preschool 2

In Preschool, we have started our last Unit of Inquiry “Sprouting Up!”.  In the beginning of the week the children planted some seeds in plastic cups. They learned what some of the plants needs are: plants need soil and water. The seeds were placed on the windowsills for further observations. By the end of the week some of the seeds had already sprouted! The Preschool 2 children counted and measured the sprouts and recorded the data on a graph. On Thursday, all the preschool groups went on a walking fieldtrip to the Kipsala Exibition hall to explore the Garden and Flora exhibition.  It was a lot of fun to see all the plants, greenhouses and tractors there! The children also had a great time reading the plant names listed on labels. We also purchased some more seeds to be planted in the classroom. We are looking forward to seeing our plants grow even bigger in the weeks to come!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Preschool 1 April 16-20

This week we have begun our new Unit of Inquiry, Sprouting Up!, and the preschool children have been exploring soil, seeds, sun and water.  We have been listing the things we already know about plants as well as identifying details we would still like to learn including: what are the different parts of plants?; do plants need rain and what happens when they do not have it?; where do seeds come from?; do the same plants grow in all parts of the world?
At the beginning of this week we decorated the tree in the staircase with lovely pink flowers that we prepared with glue and tissue paper.  We planted seeds and have been observing how quickly they are germinating and coming up!  During our outside time we have been looking for evidence of spring and identifying buds on bushes, small blades of grass, crocuses, blue bells and other early signs of spring.  We took a walking field trip to the Exhibition to observe many trees, flowers, flower bulbs, and tractors for sale!
In Art class the children have been working with water colours on pastels creating spring scenes and during the IT class the children have also been exploring the new unit with games and songs.  Children enjoyed Lois Ehlert’s Planting a Rainbow, and searching for books related to spring and previous units, during the Library lesson this week.  Show-and-Tell has continued throughout the week and the children are really enjoying this type of sharing.
We are all looking forward to the warm sun to help our plants grow healthy and strong!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Preschool activities during March and April!

The past few weeks have presented the Preschoolers’ with a busy schedule and some very interesting activities and events including: looking at the rabbit in our Unit of Inquiry; the International Day; and finally, learning about horses as a part of our Unit of Inquiry which included a wonderful field trip to the horses stables.

During the Here, Kitty Kitty! unit the Preschoolers' invited the ISR community to participate in a survey outlining the different pets that the students and staff care for at home.  Among the pets were dogs, cats, one bird, fish, rabbits, and one horse! Thank you for your participation!

During the week of the rabbit we had a visit from a lovely long eared bunny, Puja, with soft long black hair and a lovely nature.  The preschool children had the opportunity to learn about how to care for a bunny and what it means to be a good and responsible owner.  Before returning to school this week, many children may have even been put to work by the bunnies during Easter and encouraged to collect hidden eggs!

Before breaking for the long weekend the International Day was an inspiring, touching, and educative day for both students and teachers in the school.  The day started off with the flag parade where 31 countries flags were represented by the ISR community!   The parade was followed by a series of workshops where the preschool children were introduced to the theme, Animals That Are Becoming Extinct, in a short and meaningful theatre skit presented by the preschool teachers.  Two irresponsible tourists stomped their way into a turtles habitat and not only polluted its delicate environment, but wanted to harm the defenceless animal. The children engaged in discussion regarding this type of behaviour and identified what was wrong about it and what should be done differently.  A short video was presented to the children regarding many other endangered animals on our planet and discussion continued regarding our interests in sharing the planet with all of them!  The workshops continued and art, music and movement and interactive reading were a few of the engaging activities the children had the opportunity to participate in.  A magnificent map of the world, with endangered animals the children where learning about during these workshops, was presented for the whole school to explore in the main hall.  This day was an eye opening  experience for all of us!

Finally, our current week's focus, horses, was introduced with an engaging field trip to the stables where preschoolers learned about horses, what they eat and drink, where they sleep, how they are groomed and trained, and how they communicate. The children rode either a horse or pony and experienced something quite unique and exciting!  The week continued with a visit from Ellie's mother, Ms Kim, who presented information to the preschoolers regarding other details about horses including: the many different names that describe the colours of horses (such as Gray, Bay, Chestnut, Skewbald); the history of horses and how they were a very important part of transportation before the invention of vehicles; and training horses to be competitors.  Thank you Ms Kim!

We have really enjoyed this Unit of Inquiry, Here Kitty Kitty! and are looking forward to beginning the final unit for the 2011-2012 school year Sprouting Up!